Austinites have a lot of feelings about breakfast tacos, a delicacy that's tragically little known outside of Texas. I'll always remember talking up breakfast tacos to a visitor from the North. I couldn't understand why he was so unenthusiastic until he admitted that he was picturing some monstrosity in a hard taco shell. That's not what a breakfast taco is. Instead, picture scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and other ingredients nestled in a soft tortilla. Breakfast tacos are kind of the smaller, saner versions of the breakfast burritos that Californians seem so devoted to. (Bless their hearts.) They're our favorite local comfort food, and you'll find breakfast tacos at every turn in Austin, made to every taste. Besides the standard eggs-and-breakfast-meat combos, breakfast tacos can also contain peppers, onions, beans, potatoes, cheese, steak, nopales (cactus), and more. At my house, we usually make them for dinner once a week, but ours can't compare with these local standouts.
The Pete's Tantalizing Taco, with egg, sausage, potato, serrano peppers and onions, is one of my favorite breakfast tacos in town, but don't go for it if you can't handle the serranos. Huge and filling, it's a great deal at $2.50. If you don't make it to one of the Maudie's locations around Austin, the airport Maudie's also serves Pete's.
A local favorite, TacoDeli has its own storefronts but also supplies breakfast tacos to many coffee shops around town. Try one or two of the 10 house-special tacos, or create your own combination with ingredients such as chorizo, avocado, refried black beans and portobello mushrooms. Turn up the heat with their homemade salsas.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
Vegans aren't shut out of all the breakfast taco goodness in Austin. Among the excellent options: Bouldin Creek's veggie chorizo with tofu scramble, and tofu scramble with jalapenos, garlic and onion. Even as an omnivore, I crave these two all the time. Add a potato hash cake on the side.
Mi Madre's Mexican Restaurant
Stop by Mi Madre’s on a weekend morning to pick up some breakfast tacos to go and you'll see why this is such a popular spot for the restaurant's East Austin neighbors. Get one of the variations with bacon (#0 or #13) and a bottle of Topo Chico sparkling water—Austin perfection.
Veracruz All Natural
When Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said his favorite breakfast tacos came from a fast-food chain, Mando Rayo, co-author of "Austin Breakfast Tacos," decided the mayor needed a "breakfast taco intervention." So he brought the mayor some tacos from Veracruz. Leffingwell was impressed, and you will be, too. These just might be the best in town.